Canopy Story

Legacy Initiative

Canopy Story

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Portland State researchers have launched a website that pinpoints trees in Portland and connects them with historic events, family memories, urban legends and more.

The Story Behind Trees

Portland State researchers have launched a website that pinpoints trees in Portland and connects them with historic events, family memories, urban legends and more. Anyone can contribute stories on CanopyStory.org.

PSU professors Catherine McNeur and Vivek Shandas say the Canopy Story project could help preserve Portland’s biggest and oldest trees.

Trees provide real, tangible benefits for our community,” Shandas said. “Some of those benefits can be measured with numbers and charts, while others are more anecdotal.

Canopy Story aims to broaden our understanding of what trees contribute to our urban communities.

“We’re inviting Portlanders to share their memories and experiences of local trees,” said McNeur, an associate professor of environmental history and a fellow of PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions. “In doing so, they’ll contribute to a public record that demonstrates the value residents place on trees in our city.”

Urban planning professor Vivek Shandas has linked urban trees to health risks during heat waves—areas of cities that have fewer trees are more likely to experience extreme heat fluctuations and pose deadly threats to people who live and work there.

Canopy Story is supported by PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions and the US Forest Service. The website was created by PSU urban planning professor Vivek Shandas with the help of urban studies graduate student Jackson Voelkel, urban planning graduate student Danielle Schulte, PSU alum Travis Hathaway, and history professor Catherine McNeur.